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Discussion at recent Big Society seminars we've held led me to believe there was a hardening of opinion within the voluntary and community sector as people prepared for a battle for survival. While that may still be a true reflection the way things are going, the session in Leicester seemed to buck the trend. Of course there was talk of cuts and the challenges these bring, but people were also looking for opportunities, seeking new ways of working and fully aware of the massive changes that are coming.
Our Big Society briefing seminars are becoming something of a tour...with four done and four to go, before a notional summer break for a couple of weeks, before we kick off our autumn big society events....
Next up, Bradford, organised in partnership with JUST West Yorkshire and Yorkshire and the Humber Forum (they've dropped the ‘regional' from their name...in case you wondered!). I keep thinking it's going to get harder and harder to find news things to say about each event but I'm getting a very good sense of the changing mood out on the Big Society frontline.
One participant at the third of our getting to grips with the new government seminars, this time in Exeter, described Big Society as ‘almost a revolution' - which can be interpreted in a number of different ways. What should not open to interpretation is the radical change facing the voluntary and community sector over the next few years. This is something that in Exeter, as elsewhere, the sector is quickly coming to terms with...
A presentation on the government's current plans and priorities, from our Getting To Grips With The Coalition Government briefing sessions.
The presentation provides and overview and analysis of:
- The Government's priorities and its legislative programme
- Spending plans and measures announced in the Emergency Budget on 22nd June
- ‘Big Society' and the government's approach to working with voluntary and community groups
There has been a lot of Big Society talk this week with David Cameron's ‘Big Speech' in Liverpool. Much of the debate has focused on whether or not Big Society is simply a way to use volunteers to plug gaps in public services. But let's be clear - that's what charities and voluntary organisations have done for centuries. Where would our social care provision be without the millions of people caring for their loved ones in a voluntary capacity? And it's been the same with voluntary efforts to tackle homelessness, poverty, protect civil liberties and even political reform. In this sense, this is nothing new.